Electoral College worthy of debate

Delia Watkins
January 1, 2017

But whenever I point this out, the following argument comes my way: "ah yes, but Trump would have performed much better in the popular vote if it had been a nationwide election, not one conducted state-by-state as required by the Electoral College model".

One conspiracy gets greater support from both sides of the election divide.

Whatever one thinks of the Electoral College, it is a constitutional fact of life; one of many hard compromises that made the creation of the United States also. Thinly populated states like Maine, North Dakota and Vermont get two senators, just like California and NY, states with tens of millions more people. Before 2000, we hadn't elected a president who lost the popular vote in more than a century. Six in ten Trump voters believe there were millions of illegal votes cast on election day. It was on that very date and at that very hour that, in 1981, the nation knew that it was taking a sharp right turn under President Ronald Reagan. Once he takes office, he will join a select group of just three other USA presidents-George W. Bush, Rutherford B. Hayes and Benjamin Harrison-who have lost the popular vote but won the White House. This has led to criticism from a number of Democrats, and even inspired California Rep. Jared Huffman to introduce the 'One President at a Time Act,' which enforces the rule that only the sitting president may make foreign policy decisions.

Compare this to 2016 when only six states were visited more than 10 times by the major candidates - Pennsylvania 23, Florida 20, North Carolina 18, OH 16, Virginia 12 and Iowa 11. Trump won the plurality in the other 49 states. States now decide the rules of how those electors are apportioned ... victor take all (no equality there).

Long a high profile celebrity and businessperson who seemed to be only sporadically interested in politics (he flirted with the Obama birth certificate alleged controversy and briefly indicated interest in being governor of New York), Mr. Trump was not taken seriously when he began his presidential run in mid- 2015, partly because of a series of controversial statements about, among other things, Mexicans, the Bush family and John McCain. Apparently he's OK with Hollywood millionaires - the 1 percent - deciding it.

Screen icon Carrie Fisher dies following heart attack
The US actress died in Los Angeles after suffering a heart attack during a flight from London to the United States on Friday. As the iconic Leia in Star Wars , she taught generations that a princess can be a resilient, smart and powerful hero.

In an email sent to supporters Monday, Clinton said that "while we didn't achieve the outcome we sought, I'm proud of the vision and values we fought for and the almost 66 million people who voted for them".

The Speaker of the House claims Trump "earned a mandate" for a "go big, go bold" agenda, while Trump "counselor" Kellyanne Conway is not just claiming a mandate but griping that critics of the billionaire are "attempting to foment a permanent opposition that is corrosive to our constitutional democracy". But letting the popular vote decide it will not magically produce a mandate for whoever wins an election.

Early in the 2016 cycle, plenty of Democrats anxious about this and thought they saw a way to prevent it: By nominating Clinton for president.

Turnout last month was about 58 percent. "Heck, even President Obama admits there's no evidence that Russian hacking cost the Democrats the election".

North Dakota does not require electors to vote for their presidential candidate but their loyalty is more binding than any state law. That year, turnout was about 55 percent, which means he won the support of less than 24 percent of eligible voters. They contend the people's will was thwarted.

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